Mother, step-grandmother arrested after newborn taken from hospital

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Amber Trammel (Source: Dunklin County Sheriff's Department) Amber Trammel (Source: Dunklin County Sheriff's Department)
Laura Stone (Source: Dunklin County Sheriff's Department) Laura Stone (Source: Dunklin County Sheriff's Department)
Melissa Howard (Greene County Sheriff's Office) Melissa Howard (Greene County Sheriff's Office)

A baby was taken early Wednesday morning from Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center in Kennett.

The baby is now safe and three women are facing charges.

Amber Trammel, 28, of Paragould, Arkansas is the mother of the baby. Laura Stone, 47, of Paragould is the stepmother of Trammel.

Both were arrested on endangering the welfare of a child.

Police also located and arrested Melissa Howard, 49, in Paragould.

Howard was also charged with child endangerment.

According to Lt. Detective Trowbridge with Kennett Police, the baby was born around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say Stone came in to hold the newborn just before 4 a.m. and then left with the child.

Officials believe this was a planned event.

According to the Kennett Police Department, Trammel conspired with the two other women to get the child out of the hospital by holding the security doors of OB Unit, open so the security device on the baby's ankle would not activate the door lock preventing the baby from being removed from the unit.

Kennett Police made contact with Stone through cellphone while she had the newborn and the baby was returned around 7:30 a.m.

"We then made contact with her over the cell phone and urged her to come back and finally coerced her to come back to Kennett and return the baby. And that's what happened," Lieutenant Tim Trowbridge said.  

Hospital officials checked out the baby and at this time, no harm seems to be done.

The baby is now in DFS custody.

Trammel checked herself out of the hospital Wednesday morning and was taken into custody.

Lt. Trowbridge says the hospital will not be held liable for the kidnapping. He says hospital staff even helped with the investigation.

Kenneth James, CEO of Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center, released the following statement.

"Out of respect for patient privacy laws, I cannot comment about the specifics about this case. I will add that our staff responded immediately and appropriately to the situation. Since this is now a criminal case, I will direct any further questions to local authorities."

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